Pitta’s Acrobatics Lead Ravens Receivers

Torrey Smith was shut out in his first game, but Tandon Doss continues to impress.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, August 11th, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Preseason 1 at Eagles, Ryan Mink

Dennis Pitta got the Ravens’ 2011 passing attack started in spectacular fashion.

On the first snap from scrimmage this season, the second-year tight end elevated over Philadelphia Eagles free safety Kurt Coleman, reached over his back and hauled in a 27-yard reception while careening to the ground.

Later on in the half, he dropped a wide-open pass to him in the flats.

It was that kind of a night for the Ravens’ new-look receiving corps. The unit showed flashes of what could be, but also had some blips in its first preseason outing.

Pitta led all Ravens receivers with four receptions for 47 yards. He stepped in as the Ravens’ top option with fellow second-year tight end Ed Dickson sidelined due to a hamstring injury and longtime starter Todd Heap now in Arizona.

The first play was pre-scripted to take a deep shot and Pitta, who logged just one catch for one yard in his rookie season, was the intended target.

“I looked at it as an opportunity, a time for me to showcase what I can bring to this offense and my abilities,” Pitta said. “And what better way to start it than with a catch like that?”

Rookie wide receivers Tandon Doss and Torrey Smith made their debuts, but only Doss saw much action.

The fourth-rounder, who has impressed coaches with his outstanding hands and ability to get open, showed more of the same in Philadelphia. He caught three passes for 26 yards.

Doss had one 10-yard reception on a quick pass to the outside, in which he stiff-armed rookie Curtis Marsh and turned up-field. He also caught a well-executed slant for seven yards.

“We always work on finishing defenders and getting up the field as fast as possible,” Doss said.

“But of course you make mistakes and those are running through my head. The speed of the game really surprised me. You go through practice and everything slows down, but you go out there and it’s so fast.”

Smith didn’t have the debut he was hoping for.

The player that for now seems to be slated as Baltimore’s No. 2 wide receiver was shut out. He was targeted three times.

The first was on a bootleg to the outside in which quarterback Joe Flacco ended up throwing it away. The second, Smith came across the deep middle but got caught up in some traffic. Tyrod Taylor still delivered the pass, thinking Smith would make it through, but it was instead intercepted by Eagles safety Jaiquawn Jarrett.

The speedy Smith had a step on his defender on the third, but Taylor’s pass was too deep.

Maryland rookie LaQuan Williams notched three receptions for 46 yards, including a 20-yarder. He also had a potential game-tying touchdown pass go through his hands.

Justin Harper, who is trying to make the team after three seasons on the practice squad, made two receptions for 17 yards. The final pass of the game sailed over his head.

Tags: , , , , , , ,